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Detectives: Pasco shooting suspects may have been trying to kill Zephyrhills police officer

5:19 PM, Aug 2, 2011   |    comments
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Zephyrhills, Florida -- Tuesday afternoon detectives continued searching for two people they say opened fire on a police officer during a chase earlier in the day.

Though police have released no description of the two suspects, they are warning residents that two dangerous people are on the loose.

It all started Tuesday morning as a Zephyrhills officer tried to pull over a white car for speeding. The driver, though, sped up, trying to get away.

The chase continued through a four-mile stretch of State Road 54, past a busy area of homes and businesses. At some point during the chase, someone in the car opened fire on the officer, getting off multiple shots.

"We woke up about 7:15 to a lot of gunshots and thought something was going on in my house. Thought my house was getting shot up," said Natalie Talbot, who lives along State Road 54, "I figured I was in a safe area, and didn't realize that anything like this goes on around here."

Detectives say eventually the front tire was shot out of the patrol car, allowing the suspects to get away.

With little to go on, Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is pleading for the public's help.

"We're not going to tolerate this in Pasco County.  We're going to use every resource to hunt these people down," he said.

Police are searching for a white, four-door vehicle, possibly a Mitsubishi Mirage.  

Detectives originally said they were looking for two males, but have now backed off that, saying simply it's two people they're searching for.

At this point, they're investigating it as an attempted homicide on a police officer.

The chase was caught on the officer's dashcam, but investigators say they're not ready to release that.

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